The annual call for new topics in now open
We welcome you to propose a new health condition for a screening programme that is not already considered by the UK NSC.
Please download the form and read the guidance at the end of this link to make a proposal.
The deadline for submissions is 16th December 2018. For more information please see this blog.

The UK NSC recommendation on Anal Cancer screening in adults (archived)

This recommendation is no longer active

Date of deactivation 14 August 2017
Reason for deactivation Anal cancer is overwhelmingly confined in high risk groups . As such the population of interest is outside the remit of the UK NSC.
Recommendation Systematic population screening programme not recommended
Key downloads

Why is screening not recommended by UK NSC?

A national anal cancer screening programme is not recommended because there is not enough evidence and understanding of the condition to be sure a screening programme would deliver sufficient benefit. The review found that:

  • While the number of anal cancer cases has increased it is still a rare form of cancer with only 916 new cases in England in 2010
  • There isn't a clear understanding of who is more likely to get anal cancer and how it develops
  • The test for detecting the cancer is not always reliable
  • It is not clear whether people would find the test for anal cancer acceptable (that is, some people may be unwilling to have an examination of their rectum by a doctor)
  • While so many questions remain unanswered, it is difficult to assess how a screening programme would be cost effective and beneficial

More about Anal Cancer

The anus is the opening of the bowel, and is controlled by a ring of muscle that opens and closes to control bowel movements. Cancer of the anus is rare. Less than 800 people are diagnosed with this type of cancer each year in the UK. As with most cancers the cause of anal cancer is unknown. It is slightly more common in women than men.

» Read more about anal cancer on NHS Choices

Recommendation Review History

Anal cancer remains a rare but important condition. However anal cancer has been removed from the UK NSC’s list of topics because the condition is overwhelmingly confined in high risk groups . As such the population of interest is outside the remit of the UK NSC.

The key documents that lead to the UK NSC decision is deactivate is available to download above.

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